The idea of Pakistan stands riddled with tensions. Initiated by a small group of select Urdu-speaking Muslims who envisioned a unified Islamic state, today Pakistan suffers the divisive forces of various separatist movements and religious fundamentalism. A small entrenched elite continue to dominate the country’s corridors of power, and democratic forces and legal institutions remain weak. But despite these seemingly insurmountable problems, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan continues to endure. The Pakistan Paradox is the definitive history of democracy in Pakistan, and its survival despite ethnic strife, Islamism and deep- seated elitism. This edition focuses on three kinds of tensions that are as old as Pakistan itself. The tension between the unitary definition of the nation inherited from Jinnah and centrifugal ethnic forces; between civilians and army officers who are not always in favour of or against democracy; and between the Islamists and those who define Islam only as a cultural identity marker.